January 7, 2021
On January 6, 2021, Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center’s Neuroscience Institute held a ribbon-cutting for its new Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health. The center will offer integrated, high-quality screening, diagnostic and treatment services for adults living with cognitive or memory impairment caused by conditions such as various types of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease.
The Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health will be led by Manisha Parulekar, M.D., AGSF, FACP, division chief, Geriatrics and Florian Thomas, M.D., Ph.D., chair and professor, Neurology and Neuroscience Institute; Laurie G. Jacobs, M.D., AGSF, FACP, chair and professor of Medicine and Lisa Tank, M.D., chief medical officer, Hackensack University Medical Center.
“According to 2017 statistics from the New Jersey Department of Health, approximately 170,000 adults in New Jersey are living with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Mark Sparta, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center. “These statistics predict that the number of New Jersey residents with Alzheimer’s disease will increase to 210,000 residents by 2025 — a 23.5 percent increase — making the Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health a critical component of cognitive health care for aging New Jersey residents.”
With a focus on early diagnosis and prevention of cognitive impairment and dementia — as well as patient and caregiver health and wellness — the Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health will offer:
- A population health screening and referral program in partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health primary care providers
- Individualized diagnosis through medical and cognitive assessments
- Psychosocial assessment and psychological care
- State-of-the-art treatment for cognitive disorders
- Access to clinical trials
- Caregiver support and wellness programs
- Allied health services and referrals, as needed
- Community and clinician educational programs
The Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health will include an interprofessional team of specialists in geriatrics, behavioral neurology, neuropsychology, health psychology, geriatric psychiatry and social work. This level of collaboration will allow the center’s team to identify “best in class” diagnostic tools, create guidelines and model programs for dementia care, and produce publishable research that will provide far-reaching benefits for people with dementia in the U.S. and around the world.
“In addition to providing comprehensive care for people who are living with dementia, the center will engage in population-based clinical and translational research to advance the science of dementia care,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., FACS, regional president, Northern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health, chief research officer. “That means New Jersey residents who are living with dementia will have access to some of the most advanced, most promising therapies before they are widely available.”
“The center will provide patient and family centric care and support,” said Dr. Tank. “The resources and tools provided to the family will guide them through this challenging disease process and maintain quality of life.”
“In New Jersey, the lifetime risk for Alzheimer’s disease at age 65 is one in six for women and one in 11 for men,” said Dr. Parulekar. “The Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health is a one-stop regional hub for dementia care that will not only benefit today’s older adults, but will ensure that we are ready to provide leading-edge care for the next generation of older adults as well.”
In addition to providing expert clinical care and access to promising clinical trials, the center will also train the next generation of providers and community-based groups to evaluate and care for individuals with dementia. To achieve this mission, the center’s clinicians will collaborate with organizations such as the Greater New Jersey Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Act Now Foundation, the national Alzheimer’s Association, and Wyckoff YMCA to provide community and clinician education, support groups, and access to community-based resources.
“Through a robust program that integrates screening, clinical care, research, education and supportive services, our goal is to provide a streamlined pathway for older adults and their caregivers to access the latest, most comprehensive cognitive care,” said Dr. Thomas.
The Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health has already received philanthropic support from several public and private funding sources, demonstrating a high level of backing from the cognitive care advocacy community.
The Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health is located at Hackensack University Medical Center Neuroscience Institute, 360 Essex St., Suite 303, Hackensack, New Jersey, 07601.
To support the Center for Memory Loss and Brain Health, you can make a donation here.
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